The Royal Gems Golf City
Course Date
Location Bangkok, Thailand
Yardage 6629 yards Par 71
Coursre Rating 71.6
Playing Date 26 Oct. 2012 & 19 Feb. 2016
Designer Ron Garl
Opned 2011
Caddie Yes
Golf Cart Yes
Rating
Overall Rating
4.55
Course Layout
5
Difficulty Level
4
Greens Conditions
5
Fairways Conditions
5
Landscaping & Views
4
Level of Satisfaction
4


View

The golf course at the Royal Gems Golf City is considered to be Asia's first replica course. The front half is combined with nine internationally well known holes and the back nine is a replica of the Augusta National course. The geographically flat land has been piled up earth in order to recreate the hills and valleys. The fact that this course has many ups and downs makes it unusual for courses around Bangkok. The big differences between this replica course and the Augusta National is the tree sizes and the green surfaces, and their rolling speeds. Players will be able to enjoy the ambience of the Augusta course once the trees at the Royal Gems Golf City have matured.


The first nine replica holes are so well connected and combined that it almost feels as if it is a new and perfectly designed golf course. This course is strategically challenging and gives players a strong impression, primarily because the design constricts of the collection of the best holes from all of the world, which includes; #1 Oakmont CC #3, #2 Bay Hill C&L #6, #3 TPC Sawgrass Stadium #17, #4 Doral R&CC #18, #5 Royal Troon GC Old Course #8, #6 St. Andrews Old Course #17, #7 Bethpage State Park GC Black Course #4, #8 Winged Foot GC #10, #9 The Belfry GC Brabazon Course #10.

Scorecard

 
Hole 1 Par 4 423 yards

Hole 1 Par 4 423 yards (2)

Hole 1 Par 4 423 yards (1)

The opening hole is a tough par four with a relatively straight fairway. There is a huge bunker that is placed on the left side of the fairway. The grasses are planted on top of several narrowly raised soil in the bunker, which look like church pew benches from the teeing ground. The contrast of the white bunker and the green grass makes the fairway look narrower, giving players more pressure off the tee box. The tee shot is a downhill shot while the second shot is an uphill shot.

 
Hole 2 Par 5 580 yards

Hole 2 Par 5 580 yards (1)

The second hole is a par five that consists of a dogleg that bends around a pond on the left side, shape like a crescent moon. The landing area off the tee is relatively small and tilts down towards the left. Players should also look out for the water hazard that lies near the landing area of the tee shot. The fairway becomes narrower the closer it gets to the green, meaning that accuracy will be a vital factor on the second and third shots. The approach shots is also difficult, as the green is swung further to the left and the ball hover over the water hazard. The green isn’t deep and players should note that there is a bunker at the back and the pond facing the front and left sides of the green.

 

Hole 2 Par 5 580 yards (4)

Hole 2 Par 5 580 yards (3)

Hole 2 Par 5 580 yards (2)
 
Hole 3 Par 3 140 yards

The third hole is a par three that is designed in the shape of an island green. Players need to approach the floating small green with caution. The internationally renowned concept of “island green holes” originated at TPC Sawgrass Stadium #17. Since the hole’s creation, the concept has been adapted all around the world across hundreds of different golf courses.

 

3rd green seen from the side

Hole 3 Par 3 140 yards (2)

Hole 3 Par 3 140 yards (1)
 
Hole 4 Par 4 399 yards

This par four consists of a sharp dogleg that bends to the left. The tee shot will hover both over a pond and a beach bunker that spreads out on the left side of the fairway. The green is surrounded by another pond in its front and left side; therefore, the second shot will require accuracy in order for the ball to be carried over the water hazard. The green slopes down sharply towards the left, making it difficult for players to read the line of putting.

 

Hole 4 Par 3 140 yards (3)

Hole 4 Par 3 140 yards (2)

Hole 4 Par 4 399 yards (1)
 
Hole 6 Par 4 459 yards

Hole 6 Par 4 459 yards (2)

Hole 6 Par 4 459 yards (1)
A demanding par four that consists of a dogleg hole that bends towards the right. The original design of this hole at St. Andrews requires the ball to fly over The Old Course Hotel off the tee box. At this particular hole the hotel is replaced with a bush. Players will need to use a wood on the second shot in order to reach the hole in two shots. Nevertheless, players will need accuracy to be on their side, as there is an extremely narrow O.B. line on the right side of the green. The green is 50-yards wide and consists of a complex undulation. The design around the green, the pot bunker in front of the green and the long & narrow road at the back, in comparison to the original hole is strikingly very similar.
 

6th green seen from the front right

Hole 6 Par 4 459 yards (2)

Hole 6 Par 4 459 yards (1)
 
Hole 7 Par 5 536 yards

The seventh hole is a par five that consists of a slight dogleg that bends to the left. The tee shot will require the ball to be accurate in order to avoid the left fairway bunker. While the second shot will only require the ball to hover over a large bunker, both second and third shots will require the ball to be hit on a tough uphill slope. There are two large bunkers that are strategically placed in the far front of the green. This will force players to think as they will need to decide which club to use on the second shot. The bunker guarding in front of the green is in play.

 

Hole 7 Par 5 536 yards (3)

Hole 7 Par 5 536 yards (2)

Hole 7 Par 5 536 yards (1)
 
Hole 8 Par 3 180 yards

Hole 8 Par 3 180 yards (2)

Hole 8 Par 3 180 yards (1)
The eighth hole is a par three that has an elevated green, guarded by deep bunkers on both sides.
 
Hole 10 Par 4 440 yards

Hole 10 Par 4 440 yards

Hole 10 Par 4 440 yards
The eleventh hole is a par four with a dogleg that bends to the right. Players may find their ball rolling down the hill if hit more than 225 yards off the tee. Since the fairway tilts leftward, players should aim their tee shot towards the right side. The green faces a body of water on both the left and back sides, and it will make players decide on the second shot wheter they arrecively attach the pin or play safe of the left side of the green. The original hole’s length is 505 yards long. Therefore, at the Masters, many golf professionals usually aim towards the right side of the green to be safe in order to avoid the water hazard on the left.
 
Hole 11 Par 4 415 yards

The eleventh hole is a par four with a dogleg that bends to the right. Players may find their ball rolling down the hill if hit more than 225 yards off the tee. Since the fairway tilts leftward, players should aim their tee shot towards the right side. The green faces a body of water on both the left and back sides, and it will make players decide on the second shot wheter they arrecively attach the pin or play safe of the left side of the green. The original hole’s length is 505 yards long. Therefore, at the Masters, many golf professionals usually aim towards the right side of the green to be safe in order to avoid the water hazard on the left.

 

Hole 11 Par 4 415 yards

Hole 11 Par 4 415 yards

Hole 11 Par 4 415 yards
 
Hole 12 Par 3 155 yards

Hole 12 Par 3 155 yards (2)

Hole 12 Par 3 155 yards (1)
The twelfth hole is a beautiful par three that consists of a tee shot that carries the ball over a pond. The hole’s distance is not long, however, when the wind velocity is blows stronger than six meters a second, it can be considered to be the world’s most difficult Par 3. The green is guarded by bunkers both in its front and back and has a depth of mere twenty yards. It is also relatively wide and tilts towards the right. From the tee box, this green can look as if it’s shaped in a straight line. If players lose their sense of the distance throughout the course, it will be nearly impossible to score a par. Especially if players land their ball in the back bunker, a very sensitive shot will be required in order to get it out, or else the ball will continue to roll throughout the green and enter the water hazard. The distance of this hole is the same as the original hole.
 
Hole 13 Par 5 500 yards

Hole 13 Par 5 500 yards (2)

Hole 13 Par 5 500 yards (1)
This hole is a par five that consists of a sharp dogleg left bend. The best way to tackle this hole is to hit a right to left ball off the tee. If the tee shot goes straight, the second shot needs to be hit from the side hill lie. A creek runs along the left side of the fairway and crosses the hole right before it reaches the green. Players should note that the green slopes down sharply, meaning that there’s a possibility for a three-putt. The original hole is ten yards longer than this replica hole.
 
Hole 15 Par 5 494 yards

This par five is a straightly designed hole that consists of a wide fairway. However, in order to reach the hole in two shots, players will need to hit between the two high trees, only 50 yards wide. The landing area is a downward slope, making it possible for some long hitters to successfully hit the . Nevertheless, players should also be aware as there is a pond placed right in front of the green. Players should also note that if the shot surpasses the green, it will be difficult to approach onto the green from the back. The original hole is 530 yards.

 

Hole 15 Par 5 494 yards (3)

Hole 15 Par 5 494 yards (2)

Hole 15 Par 5 494 yards (1)
 
Hole 18 Par 4 459 yards

The last hole is a tough uphill par four with a dogleg that bends to the right. The tee shot will require the ball to fly through the narrow corridor of teeing boxes franked by the trees, even though the trees are currently young & small. Players are encouraged to aim at the the fairway bunker that is placed 290 yards off the tee. A left to right ball is also good. The second shot is an uphill blind shot towards the green. There is also a deep bunker that is placed near the front left side of green. The biggest difference players realize when they play at this hole after they watch the Masters on television is the actual steepness of the course. On TV, it looks relatively flat, but the hole is not less than 24-yard uphill from the tee to the green. The original is 465 yards.

 

Hole 18 Par 4 459 yards (3)

Hole 18 Par 4 459 yards (2)

Hole 18 Par 4 459 yards (1)
 
Hole 19
It is a 50-minute drive from Central Bagkok. Visitors need to be accompaned by menbers to play on Saturdays & Sundays. The locker room at this golf course has a gorgeous design.

Caddies

Locker room


Restaurant

Lunch

Though I would rate this course 4.80 points, due to the fact that the course is a replica of various famous international holes, I have decided to rate it 4.55 on this course. Nevertheless, the course layout is quite interesting and there is no doubt that this is a first class golf course.

According to the top100golfcourses.co.uk site, Black Mountain was ranked 18th out of the 270 (as of 2015) courses in all of Thailand during its 2016 evaluation.

The other Ron Gal designed courses in Thailand are Alpine G&SC and Chiangmai Lamphun GC (remodel).